Summer’s Over, Now Vote

What primary?

With Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton dominating political conversation, it is no wonder town clerks are expecting a woeful turnout at Tuesday's Primary Election Day.

Overshadowed by presidential politics are important primary races in the state, including governor and Congress.

Congratulating the Best of the Valley


Congratulations to the 107 winners of the Best of Mount Washington Valley 2016.


More than 4,000 people cast about 110,000 votes, and the winners were recognized at an awards party held Thursday night at Cranmore’s Zip's Pub.


The contest succeeded in giving locals a way to acknowledge many of the people, organizations and businesses that make the valley such a dynamic place.


Two posts on our Facebook page, however, accused the Sun of rigging the contest (apparently, they didn’t win). In order to assure participants that the contest was legit, the actual results of the voting will be published in next Saturday’s edition of the Sun, which will provide a comprehensive list of all of the categories and winners.


In the spirit of creating a fun off-season event, and giving people a reason to get together before the summer officially starts, the Sun is committing to hosting the contest and party again next year (a shout-out of thanks to this year’s party co-sponsors, Cranmore Mountain and WMWV/Magic 104).


This should give us almost a full year for us all to be the best that we can be. Summer is almost here. Let’s do it. 



Vote for a governor

If you’re voting in the Republican primary today, we encourage — more like implore — you to cast a ballot for one of the governors, Chris Christie, Jeb Bush or John Kasich. 


Not only do they have the executive experience in government that Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio lack, but any of them would give Republicans a better chance to retake the White House. 


Though it’s become a dirty word, they by contrast are more moderate, and New Hampshire has an obligation to give one, two or all three of them enough momentum to continue on.


Why not Trump, Rubio or Cruz?


In a nutshell, Trump doesn’t have the temperament, Rubio lacks experience, and Cruz is a widely disliked extreme evangelical. 


None would have enough crossover appeal to women, minorities or moderate independents to win the general election. 


Trump is a paradox. He resonates with people because he doesn’t talk like a politician, yet his behavior is unbecoming of even a snarky 14-year-old. Strength is when you show control and discipline under pressure. To imagine a president of the United States calling people stupid, dopey and weak, or making fun of the disabled, boggles the mind. 


Rubio was outed by Christie at the GOP debate at St. Anselm College on Saturday for being what he is — slick and programmed. Back when he dropped out of the race, Rick Santorum threw his support behind the Florida senator and was asked to name one of Rubio's accomplishments. Embarrassingly, he couldn’t come up with one. 


Cruz is disliked by literally every one of his Senate colleagues, partly because he almost single-handedly caused the disastrous government shutdown in 2013.


His idea to carpet bomb Syria would be proposed only by an extreme evangelical who believes the second coming of Christ will happen at the end of world — Armageddon—in the Middle East. To extreme believers, all-out war is not only acceptable but, more frighteningly, inevitable.  


The Conway Sun has endorsed Bush. Like Bush, Christie and Kasich have solid records of accomplishments in their home states of Florida, New Jersey and Ohio. And they have done it by sticking to their principles while using bipartisan approaches that are woefully needed in Washington. 


Iowa caucus-goers are dominated by evangelicals, and in the last three election cycles chose Cruz, Santorum and Mike Huckabee. Like the two he follows, Cruz is also destined to fade away as the primaries move to more diverse states. 


Voters eventually will wake up and recognize Trump as just the showman he is and Rubio as a programmed, smooth-talking, underachieving first-time senator. 


New Hampshire has a long tradition of picking candidates who are electable in general elections, and for Republicans they are Bush, Kasich and Christie.




Tuesday's slate of candidates


There are no contested races on the school ballot, but there are some hotly contested ones for town offices.


Nicholas Mercauto is challenging incumbent Carl Thibodeau for selectman. We endorse Thibodeau and applaud Mercauto’s youthful enthusiasm. But, as we have recommended to many candidates entering politics for the first time, the place to start and learn about about the town is with the budget committee or the planning board. He has little chance taking on a well-respected and liked incumbent like Thibodeau for the town’s top elected post. 


We endorse Bill Barbin in the three-way race for police commissioner. After many years on the commission, David Doherty was ousted by voters, and there is no indication they will reinstate him. Bruce Ela has a stellar reputation as a former state trooper, but we believe it is in the public’s best interest for its commission to be composed of members who have experience outside of law enforcement. 


The most controversial race is for two open seats for the board of library trustees. The Conway Public Library serves the entire town, of course, but it is also the most prominent institution in Conway Village. No one better represents the village and Conway natives than Bill Marvel and Mark Hounsell.


Both have long, personal and professional connections to the library, and it makes sense that they remain trustees. They run a tight budget and were on the right side of the attempted purge of staff three years ago. But, boy, are they dangerously close to losing popular support if they continue to play politics as they did with what we believe was a straw-man issue: the rumored proposal of issuing free library cards to employees of Conway businesses.


Three people are vying for two three-year terms on the Conway Planning Board. We endorse Sarah Verney and incumbent Ray Shakir. At 27 years of age, Verney represents the next generation of community leaders. She’s capable and enthusiastic and deserves encouragement. With a lifetime of experience in construction management, Shakir is a proven asset and valuable voice on the board.



Bush: Extremely electable

OK, now it’s New Hampshire’s turn. 


Ted Cruz beating Donald Trump, and Marco Rubio placing third gives the pundits something to talk about, but given Iowa is renowned for supporting evangelicals and far-right candidates with strong ground games, the results are not all that shocking. 


Thankfully, the caucus results also take away the media’s narrative that Trump will “run the table"’ and sets up New Hampshire — one of the least religious states — as a firewall for moderate Republican governors who had no chance in Iowa: John Kasich, Chris Christie and Jeb Bush. 


Although he so far has underperformed, we believe Bush, with his vast network of establishment support, is the candidate most likely to beat Hillary Clinton.


With Trump’s histrionics dominating so much of the news, it’s easy to forget just how extreme and unelectable the Iowa front-runners are.  


Trump wants to build a wall and make Mexico pay for it, ban all Muslims from entering and slap a 45 percent excise tax on China.


Cruz’s military strategy includes carpet bombing parts of Syria. As a true believer, he would take the country on a scary step toward Armageddon in the Middle East. Cruz has the most conservative record in Congress and is disliked by virtually every one of his colleagues in the Senate, two remarkable accomplishments. 


Though Rubio is considered establishment, he is also a warmonger and wants to add a $1 trillion to the military. Not only is his rhetoric about America being in serious decline and ISIS constituting a threat to “hundreds of thousands” of Americans untrue, it is also tiresome. We’re not interested in an Alarmist-in-Chief. 


Bush not only checks all the boxes for conservatives, on both fiscal and social issues, but unlike the front-runners who complain about how Washington doesn’t work and will prove it once they get in, he is conciliatory by nature and has sensible plans on major issues like immigration.


When asked at an editorial board at the Conway Sun whether he’d conduct warfare more like his father or brother, Jeb said he’d build a coalition like his dad’s and take a measured approach, so unlike the warmongering we hear from the front-runners. 


Jeb Bush by nature and upbringing treats people with respect; thus, he’s not particularly good at name-calling. As unimpressive as he looked trading insults with Trump, in person he’s confident, thoughtful and likable, qualities that should not disqualify him as president. 


New Hampshire has the power to get a sensible Republican in the game and keep anti-establishment, far-right candidates from running away with the nomination.


Much more than Iowa, New Hampshire reflects the body politic of American’s tradition of governing from the center, and it is our responsibility to give one of the moderates a chance. 


Our choice for that role is Jeb Bush, a man who can reach out to minorities, women and center-to-right independents — people Republicans need to win back the White House.